Perfect Love

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9780001049406: Perfect Love

Twenty years of marriage to older Max has seen a busy, contented Prue through the stresses of a resentful stepdaughter and motherhood. Now, Violet has returned with her new husband from New York and, suddenly, Prue is precipitated into a secret life. The small village of Hampshire and the city are very different places and, as Prue moves between the two, she traces the boundaries between innocence and difficult knowledge, between the gluttony and surrender of desire and the stark realities that result. Pinpointing the battleground of the modern - and second - marriage, the author offers a blisteringly truthful and tenderly observed picture of the extraordinary bargains and accommodations that are struck between people who love one another. "Modern marriage and its compromises ...a terrific, compassionate, compelling novel" - "Daily Mail". "Adultery ...handled with care and moral intelligence. What a good writer Buchan is" - "Daily Telegraph". "A powerful story; wise, observant, deeply felt, with elements all women will recognise with a smile - or a shudder. Very highly recommended" - "Good Book Guide".

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Buchan is the author of Light of the Moon, Perfect Love, the prizewinning Consider the Lily, Against Her Nature, Secrets of the Heart, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman and The Good Wife. She lives in London with her husband and two children.

From Publishers Weekly:

The often stifling responsibilities of marriage and family life and the lure and complications of adultery are subtly and movingly explored by British author Buchan (Consider the Lily). Prue Valour, 41, is contentedly married to 60-year-old Max, and has spent the last several years nesting, raising their preadolescent daughter Jane and participating in village affairs while working on a biography of Joan of Arc. Discord enters in the person of Max's hateful daughter, Violet, who has never accepted Prue as her stepmother, and who is returning from the States to England with a baby she doesn't much like and a husband, Jamie Beckett, whom she dominates. Jamie, who finds his icy, career-obsessed wife inscrutable, is drawn to demure Prue (who is his own age) and initiates an affair. For Prue, this illicit passion is irresistible, especially since she has never experienced such erotic satisfaction. Initially, Violet and Max don't quite realize what's going on, though they note signs of trouble. Meanwhile, the Becketts' faithful and hardworking nanny, Emmy, has her own relationship problems and unplanned pregnancy. Buchan writes pitch-perfect scenes of domestic bickering, and her descriptions of illicit sexual desire ring poignant and true. The conceit of Joan of Arc's life as a parallel to Prue's is labored, but what does work is the psychologically accurate rendering of the way duty and familial love sometimes seem to become stifling cages. This often witty, insightful portrait of passion, trauma and heartache sweeps to a dramatic conclusion in which an anguished Prue realizes that "demons take up residence in the wronged." In the end, Buchan avoids sentimentality and easy answers to offer a candid assessment of how one goes on with life and marriage after the passion is past. (July) FYI: Buchan's Consider the Lily was named 1994's Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year in England, and has sold over 300,000 copies in the U.K.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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